Dream Big

They say to dream big,

And I did

Of my ultimate fantasy pies.

Apple and berry,

It made my mouth merry.

Veggie and chicken,

My heart did quicken.

Mushroom, herb and meat,

That I couldn’t wait to eat.

And you may wonder why

I didn’t go out to buy

These little parcels of Eden.

And sink my teeth in and eat ’em.

But I’ve been told not to eat wheat and fat,

Nor that, or that, or that.

Now my stomach thinks I’m mean

As I munch on a nectarine,

When my nostrils are filled with the savoury steam

Of the pies from last night’s dream.




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A Medley of Poetry

The Jogger

He was a part-time Jogger

A lonely footpath slogger

Just for a lark

He headed to Olympic Park

To make his mark.


There was no-one to race

So he sets an easy pace

He does one circuit

And feels quite perfect

He felt no strain, so went again.


When he hears from behind a runner,

Oh! It’s a blonde haired stunner!

As she passes him by

She catches his eye.

Thinking he’d like to flirt

He puts on a mighty spurt

Keen in the chase

He shows a cracking pace.


She runs with such ease

He’s weak at the knees.

His heart begins to pound

Can he go another round?


Wow, it’s Tamsin Lewis,

Her speed was fit to slew us.

He’s nothing left

And out of breath.

He begins to weep

And collapsed in a heap.


As her ponytail begins to sway

She’s getting further and further away.

So up he jumps

And off he pumps.

He must get past her,

He runs even faster.

He’s reeling her in

And is going to win!


When he wakes with a jerk

Now he’s fully alert.

He could scream!

The win was just a dream.

He looks up with a sigh

Into her glorious blue eyes.

She says with a grin

Smiling down at him.

“That was fun

I enjoyed our run.

Let’s do it again tomorrow.”


He thinks about tomorrow with dread

But the answer lies in his garden shed.

He has the means to defy her,

He becomes a bicycle rider.


The bicycle rider


He was a bicycle rider

Until he had a flat tyre,

He felt such a dill

As he pushed it up the hill

When the girl he did admire

Cycled by on her red flyer

Followed closely by her boyfriends

All dressed in the latest trends.

When he walked the bike back home,

Did he hear a snigger from that garden gnome?

Now he’s tired and footsore

And more crestfallen than before.

Did he ever stand a chance

Of a little Lycra romance?

But by tomorrow

He’ll be over his sorrow

Now he’s a champion motor biker.


The Motor bike and the Ute

Now he’s a motor biker

All dressed in leather.

He hopes to get raunchy

Down in the heather.


But the boys at the Local

They call him a Yokel

And the girls all laugh

At his uninked arms

Ignoring his manly charms.


You beaut!

He”s bought a Ute.

The girls can take a hike

And forget the bikes.

For beside him sits his Blue Heeler

Who’s better than any sheila.


But he must walk his doggie

So he takes up jogging.

You may laugh

As he pounds the footpath

To see he’s come full circle.



For more of my poetry follow this link

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Mary Leddin

Mary Leddin was a daughter of Patrick Leddin and Margaret Gleeson of Ballincaroona, Hospital parish, Limerick county.  Mary Leddin of Ballincaroona married in 1831 to John Kiely of Ballycahill, Hospital, the witnesses to the marriage were Patrick Leddin of Ballincaroona, her father, Denis Gleeson of Tipperary, Tipperary, her uncle, and James of Kilfrush.  James’ surname was missed but it may be Gubbins.

Mary and John had at least six children, who were baptized in the parish of Hospital.  Mary’s brother William Leddin and his wife Johanna Condon were baptism sponsors to a couple of the children.

John Kiely is noted in 1846 as having ‘gone to America’ it is unknown whether his family went with him.



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Pye family tree

Thomas Pye and Margaret his wife, were the parents of a large family.  They lived at Alstone in the parish of Haughton, Staffordshire.

John Pye was their eldest son.  John and his wife Joane had seven children.  John and Joane died within a month of each other in 1570 and their names are the first records listed in the Haughton burial register.

Alexander Pye

Alexander was born during the reign of Henry VIII, however, Queen Elizabeth 1 was the ruling monarch throughout the majority of Alexander’s life.

Alexander and his wife Elizabeth had ten children, five of whom died in childhood.  Two of their surviving children married.  Anne Pye married Humphrey Cox and Thomas Pye married Elizabeth Russell.  Alexander Pye was a Yeoman and was a tenant farmer for Sir Ralph Bouchier, the lord of Haughton Manor.  Alexander farmed tenements at Brazenhill and other areas within the parish of Haughton.

Alexander was buried on the 4 April, 1595 and Elizabeth was buried on 23 March, 1613.

Thomas Pye

Baptised 25 May, 1578 Haughton-Buried 26 March, 1629 Haughton.

Thomas was Alexander and Elizabeth Pye’s eldest surviving son.  He married Elizabeth Russell on 24 April, 1608 at St Giles church, Haughton.  Thomas does not appear in any other records other than the parish registers.  Thomas and Elizabeth had two children:  Frances Pye who married Robert Cox and John Pye who married Anne.

John Pye

Baptised 8 July, 1611 at Haughton.

John Pye and his wife Anne had eight children all born in Haughton during the time of England’s Civil War between the Royalists for King Charles 1 and the Roundheads under Oliver Cromwell.

Yeoman John Pye appears to have been quite a successful tenant farmer.  His cottage contained a parlour, kitchen and buttery, all with bedroom chambers above, one boasted a featherbed.  John owned a dozen or so cattle, 3 mares and a foal, 3 swine and 17 sheep.  He grew corn and hay and had an orchard and garden.  There was also a weaver’s loom and two spinning wheels in the home which the women in the family used.

When John Pye died he bequeathed money to the parish “to be used to buy shoes for the poorest widows and fatherless children”.  Along with the bequests of his two eldest sons, John Jnr and Robert, the Charity that was formed has continued in perpetuity and from 1942 seventeen amalgamated Charities have formed the Abbots Bromley United Charities which continues to support Youth groups and purchase equipment for the handicapped.

John Pye died in the parish of Abbots Bromley after the majority of his children moved to that parish.  He was buried on 6 September, 1681.

Thomas Pye

Baptised 26 April, 1646 Haughton – Buried 21 March, 1728 Uttoxeter.

Thomas Pye was the third son of John and Anne Pye.  Thomas began his working life as a Tailor but was later termed a Yeoman.  Thomas married his first wife, Anne Walkelate on 2 February, 1670 in St Nicholas church, Abbots Bromley.  They had four children before Anne’s early death.  Thomas married his second wife, Abigail Foster, on 24 September, 1682.  They had three children, two dying as infants.

Thomas farmed tenements named Hunter’s Croft, Little Heifield and Kue Hurst, that may have been a part of Lord William Bagot’s estate.  These plots of land formed part of the marriage settlement between Thomas and Abigail.  Thomas Pye was named as executor in a number of his relations’ Wills, however, it was his nephew, another Thomas Pye, the son of his elder brother Robert Pye, who inherited the family land and property.

Joseph Pye

Baptised 2 February, 1679 Abbots Bromley – Buried 4 January, 1758 Stockton.

Joseph Pye was the youngest child of Thomas Pye and his first wife, Anne.  Joseph’s elder brother died unmarried at 26 years of age and therefore I assume Joseph inherited his father’s lands in Abbots Bromley and was a yeoman tenant farmer.

Joseph married Catherine Reynolds on 24 February, 1703 and they had nine children, two dying as infants.  Five of Joseph and Catherine’s children married, three of whom had children.

Thomas Pye

Baptised 3 May, 1722 Abbots Bromley – Buried 18 January, 1793 Baswich.

Thomas Pye was the youngest child and only surviving son of Joseph and Catherine Pye.  It is not known what happened to cause the turn-a-round in the Pye’s fortunes but Thomas worked as an annual labourer, meaning he could only get manual and agricultural labouring contracts for a year at a time.

Thomas Pye was about 53 years of age when he married Margaret Lightfoot on 24 December, 1775 in Drayton-in-the-Hales in County Shropshire.  They had seven children and settled in Baswich near Stafford in Staffordshire.  Thomas’s financial circumstances did not improve and he died a Pauper in 1793, leaving behind his wife and five surviving children.  Their two daughters were made Parish apprentices.

Joseph Pye

Born about 1776 – Buried 17 June, 1830 Baswich.

Joseph was the eldest child of Thomas and Margaret Pye.  Joseph Pye married Mary Wetton in St Mary’s church, Stafford on 28 February, 1797.  They had eleven children with the eldest two born in Baswich and the other nine in Rickerscote in the nearby parish of Castle Church.

Rickerscote was a rural hamlet and Joseph spent his life as an agricultural labourer.  Joseph and Mary both died in their early fifties leaving their younger children to be raised by their elder children, George and Mary.

Thomas Pye

Baptised 9 July, 1797 Baswich – Died 5 September, 1880 at Kirkstall, Victoria.

Thomas Pye was the eldest child of Joseph and Mary Pye.  He began labouring at a brick yard as a child.  Thomas married Alice Hall on 3 May, 1819 and they had five children.  They moved to Birmingham in Warwickshire where Alice died.  Thomas worked in a brickyard making tiles and bricks.  By 1836 Thomas was charged with house breaking and transported to New South Wales for life.

Thomas Pye was assigned to Captain Sylvester John Brown and travelled with his master to the district of Port Philip Bay in 1838.  Thomas met his second wife, Mary Sampson, at the Brown’s dairy and they married on 16 October, 1843 at Melbourne.  The Pyes were employed by Brown’s son, Thomas Alexander Brown, and travelled with him to the district that was later known as Bessiebelle, where their first two children were born.  When Thomas received his Ticket-of-Leave the family moved to Port Fairy and a further five children were born to them.  Three of their daughters died young, the other remained single and the three sons married and produced large families.

Thomas Pye worked as a farmer and also grew wheat.  Mary Pye died at 62 years of age and Thomas Pye died at 83 years of age.

Joseph Pye

21 October, 1848 Port Fairy – 19 September, 1919 Died Port Fairy, Victoria

Joseph Pye was the youngest son of Thomas Pye and his second wife, Mary.  Joseph spent his youth in Port Fairy prior to the family moving to Tower Hill then onto the village of Kirkstall.  Joseph married Mary Ann Wiseman on 26 September, 1876 and their first four children were born in Kirkstall before Joseph obtained land at Bessiebelle where the next ten children were born.  Joseph spent the remainder of his life working on his farm.

Joseph was a dedicated farmer and served a term on the local shire council lobbying to improve the opportunities for the community of Bessiebelle.  He was well known as an excellent conversationalist who knew and related the history of the district.

Thomas James Pye

Born 11 July, 1877 Kirkstall, Victoria – Died 17 July, 1939 Warrnambool, Victoria

Thomas James Pye was the eldest of the fourteen children of Joseph and Mary Ann Pye.  Thomas met his wife, Mary Gavin, at her parent’s property, whilst he and his brothers were on their thrashing machine round.

Thomas and Mary settled in Russell’s Creek and had thirteen children.  Thomas worked at the Nestles Milk Factory.  Thomas and Mary were a great example to their children of loving, caring parents who had a deep religious faith.  Thomas kept in touch with his many siblings as much as he was able and at one time rode his bicycle all the way from Warrnambool to Bessiebelle to visit them.  Thomas died on 17 July, 1939 at 62 years of age.

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Tapestry of my Life

Tapestry of my life.

I have researched the tapestry of my family tree,

Discovering all its hues and colours.

The earthy tones of farmers, labourers and servants,

The muddy shades of the rogues and thieves.

The splash of patriotism when war loomed,

The humble and the great woven into our tree,

And found many friends amongst the shared blood of our ancestry.


I have explored the tapestry of my soul,

Following the many threads of my lives,

Accepting all the knots, snarls, tears and darns

Do not make the pattern less.

In seeing the whole of the tapestry of being

I found my true authentic self.


In the tapestry of my life

There was one bright stitch of colour.

At times it was overlooked in the allure of its surrounds.

And I thought I knew its texture

And I thought I had its measure

For if it had great value

Then I had to pay the price.

But in the light its weave was seen to entwine my story.

My teacher, my sister, my mother, my daughter, my friend, my pupil.

My twin – the fabric of gold in my life.


Soon I’ll be exploring the tapestry of the Universe.

Expanding beyond the stars; a kaleidoscope of mystery.

As I drift beneath the Milky Way

You’ll remain the centre of my world.

And no matter how far I wander out to the edges of the galaxy

I’ll always be here to wrap you in my velvet cloak of love.

In the decoupage of stitches when we meet again,

We’ll create another layer in our tapestry of love.


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The Green Petticoat

My ancestor Thomas Pye of Haughton married Elizabeth Russell in 1608.  When Elizabeth’s widowed sister, Mary Alsop died in 1634 she did not have much, but she bequeathed to her brother Thomas Russell, sister Jane, niece and nephew Frances and John Pye, one shilling each.  Another niece received all her chattells and cattells.
But to Elizabeth Pye Mary bequeathed one green petticoat.
I am sure there is some story behind the gift.  What is was can only be surmised.  Did Elizabeth admire the petticoat?  Was its value one shilling?  Whatever the circumstances I like to imagine Elizabeth wearing a bottle green petticoat, perhaps with a touch of hem showing beneath her outer skirt.

No plain linen petticoat for Elizabeth!

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Stepfathers – and how they can affect your research.

Stepfathers – and how they can affect your research.

I have discovered that where there is a blended family or an illegitimate child within a family; the fact that the individual I am researching has a stepfather can influence the recording of their surname in later documents.

I recently ordered a birth certificate for a child and found that the mother’s maiden name was recorded as “Sarah Hemmings” – I knew that her correct maiden surname was “Sarah Pye”.  Sarah’s stepfather was Thomas Hemmings.

Sarah was only 3 years of age when her natural father died and 7 years of age when her mother married Thomas Hemmings.  Sarah probably preferred the name of Hemmings rather than Pye.

Sarah was not the only one from my extended family tree to use her stepfather’s surname on her children’s birth certificates.  Emily Patience Pye (born Jones) (mentioned in a previous blog) used her stepfather’s surname of Cooper and Ellen Pye (born Lowe) used her stepfather’s surname of Mort.

I can imagine that if you are a direct descendant of these women and attempting to follow back through your ancestors how these incorrect details on birth certificates could lead to stumbling blocks and confusion in your research.

It is something that is well worth keeping in mind if you find that you are not able to trace a female ancestor’s parents.

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